Welcome back to my blog. I hope you enjoyed my previous recipe post, the seventh in my ESB Musical Bake series. Inspired by Sue Casson’s The Happy Prince, I came up with a recipe for Seamstress’ Biscuit Ballgowns, the perfect bake for any aspiring belle of the ball! If you haven’t had a chance to read it, click here to make it yourself!
In this post, in the countdown to Christmas, I want to share with you a recipe for Chocolate Orange Strips, the ideal last minute homemade Christmas present if you’re stuck for ideas!
A perfect after dinner treat, these chocolate dipped orange strips are full of festive flavours reminiscent of Terry’s Chocolate Orange but for a more sophisticated palette. This recipe is not unlike expensive chocolates you might buy from high market chocolatiers. But they are surprisingly affordable to make as they are made with only 4 every day ingredients. With the classic marriage of chocolate and orange, it is a delicious recipe which your friends and family will love receiving and will be amazed you made yourself!
Although the recipe is a little fiddly and time consuming, I have broken it down into easy manageable steps with step by step photos. It makes a rather large number of strips but if you want to make less, you can just half the recipe.
To accompany the recipe, here is my cover of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ from my ESB Monthly Bake December edition to get you in the festive spirit!
Without further ado, here is the recipe…
Chocolate Orange Strips
Makes 64 strips
2 large oranges
250g caster sugar
125g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
A sharp knife
Two small saucepans
A measuring jug
A wire rack
A slotted spoon
A small bowl
A teaspoon and skewer, to dip the strips
A gift box or tin, to store them in (optional)
How to make the bake
- Wash the oranges and cut into quarters. This recipe uses the skin of the orange and not the flesh. To leave yourself with just the skin, make a small cut at the end of a quarter. With your thumb dig between the flesh and skin and wiggle your thumb under the skin of the quarter until the flesh separates from the skin. (ESB Top Tip : This sounds easier than it is – see my photos above for a step by step!) Put the flesh aside for snacking, and continue the process with the other quarters.
- When you have separated the skin from the flesh, cut it into strips. Begin by cutting each quarter section into 2, then in half again and one more time to leave you with 8 strips per quarter. (ESB Top Tip : See my photos for a step by step!)
- When all the strips are cut, put them in a pan and cover with boiling water. Bring the pan back to the boil and boil for 3 minutes. Drain through a sieve and repeat this process twice more. (ESB Top Tip : This will remove any bitterness in the skin of the orange to make the finished product deliciously sweet!)
- In a clean pan, dissolve the sugar slowly in 250ml water and bring to the boil to make a sugar syrup. Add the boiled orange strips and reduce to a simmer. Leave to simmer for up to 3 hours. (ESB Top Tip : Keep an eye on the pan at all times to make sure it doesn’t crystalize or burn as the syrup can boil away!) When the strips are done, they will be translucent and the syrup will be reduced and thick.
- Turn the pan down to the lowest heat it can be (but not off, as it will make the sugar crystalize faster!) and use a slotted spoon to take out strips and arrange in rows (not touching) on a wire rack with greaseproof paper underneath to catch any drips. (ESB Top Tip : Boiling sugar syrup is very hot so don’t touch them with your fingers!) When all the strips are on the wire rack, leave them for 5 hours or more to dry out. (ESB Top Tip : I like to leave my strips overnight in an oven that isn’t in use as it allows them time to dry out completely!)
- When the strips have dried out, melt the chocolate by breaking it into squares and placing them in a small bowl. Boil a kettle and pour into a small saucepan, up to half full. Place the small bowl over the top and gently stir the chocolate with a teaspoon until it has gone glossy and melted. (ESB Top Tip : Not heating the water under the chocolate allows it not to burn but don’t get any of the water in the chocolate itself as it might seize up!) Dip one end of each strip into the chocolate and place on foil to set for 1 – 2 hours. When they’re done, box up your treats in gift boxes or tins and your loved ones will be surprised you have made them yourself!
Thank you for popping by my blog today! I hope you enjoyed my recipe for Chocolate Orange Strips as a last minute present idea. If you recreate it, don’t forget to tag me in any of your pictures on Instagram @englishsingingbaker #esbbakes!
See you next time for another tuneful baking post, but in the meantime,
English Singing Baker x